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Welcome to the 2017 UMaine Student Symposium: Research and Creative Activity electronic event program. This electronic program includes student abstracts, student presentation style descriptions, and presentation schedules. It also includes a map of the venue layout, schedule of the entire day’s events and programs, as well as details and information regarding our sponsors and selected university programs.

We hope you enjoy a full day of student presentations, guest speakers, award ceremonies, and the chance to network with UMaine students, faculty, staff, as well as local and state industry and community leaders! 
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Monday, April 24 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Oral Presentations – Natural Sciences

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Speakers
AB

Amy Baron

Ecology and Environmental Sciences, School of Biology and Ecology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Bird Abundance in the Rockweed Habitat along the Maine Coast | | Along the Maine coast, rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) is the dominant primary producers in the sheltered rocky intertidal areas and provides many essential ecological services to the intertidal ecosystem. Rockweed biomass supports organisms through direct grazing and additions to the detrital food web. Its complex three-dimensional structure not only provides invertebrates with protection from heat, desiccation, and predation at low tide but also a predation refuge for juvenile fishes. Moreover, rockweed provides habitat and a foraging site for coastal birds, such as Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), which forage for invertebrates in the expanded floating canopy. A strong linkage between rockweed and marine invertebrates has been shown; however, less is known about the ecological values of rockweed habitats to vertebrates, particularly birds. To understand the importance of rockweed for coastal birds, I conducted bird and algae surveys along the entire coast of Maine between June and September 2016. Bird counts were modeled as a function of the species composition of the macroalgal community (i.e., rockweed Ascophyllum nodosum versus other macroalgal species such as Fucus spp., bare rock or other substrates), geographic region, shoreline exposure, wind and wave conditions, precipitation, calendar day, and tidal cycle. On average, bird use of the intertidal zone was higher in areas with greater coverage of rockweed. These results may have implications for the ecological effects of rockweed harvest for commercial use. | | Faculty Mentor: Brian... Read More →
RB

Robert Boenish

Marine Biology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Dynamics of effective effort in a dynamic trap fishery: Maine American lobster (Homarus americanus) Utilization and interpretation of fishery-dependent data presents issues due to statistical difficulties associated with non-random sampling. A standardized framework is developed in this study for estimating Maine, USA, American Lobster (Homarus americanus) effective effort (individual trap hauls) on a fixed spatiotemporal scale using fishery-dependent data. We employ environmental covariates in a two-stage generalized additive model framework and non-parametrically bootstrap to standardize lobster catch per unit effort (CPUE) and estimate confidence intervals for the years 2006-2013. Bootstrapped CPUE confidence intervals are combined with high resolution landings data to estimate confidence intervals of effective lobster effort. In all study years we found the peak of effective effort preceded the peak of landings. Coast-wide from 2006-2013, effective effort increased modestly (9.1%) while landings increased dramatically (69.6%), suggesting assessment of spatiotemporal fishery dynamics may provide important insights for future management in Maine. Characteristic east-west differences in catch and effort were present in all study years, further suggesting non-stationarity of biological, temporal, and geographic processes in the Maine Lobster fishery. | | Faculty Mentor: Yong... Read More →
AB

Adrianus Both

Marine Science, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Sourcing and evaluating detritus as a supplemental diet for bivalve aquaculture using stable isotopes and fatty acids biomarkers | | Conventional bivalve aquaculture relies on areas with high natural abundances of phytoplankton to be successful. Since bivalves are known to ingest detritus, the question arises; Can detritus supplement bivalve growth and expand sustainable site selection of aquaculture? To address this question the contribution of nearshore primary producers to the detrital pool of a temperate estuary-bay system and the diet of Mytilus edulis was determined using 14C and 15N stable isotopes along with fatty acid biomarkers. Sampling occurred every two weeks from May until November 2016 across six sites throughout Saco Bay, Maine. Samples were collected with vertical tows and fractionated into... Read More →
ZC

Zakkary Castonguay

Food Science and Human Nutrition, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Phytonutrient Assessment of Locally Grown Cold Hardy Plum Cultivars | | Prunus salicina Lindl., stone fruits more commonly known as the Japanese plum are naturally rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Locally grown plums can be a healthful, low-calorie snack option for consumers. Maine agriculturalists stand to benefit from the seasonal availability of cold hardy plum cultivars. Phytochemical constituents were extracted using acidified methanol for eight, locally grown, cold hardy plum cultivars at two stages of ripeness (n=15). Cultivars were first allowed to ripen on the tree before harvest (tree ripe), and the second harvested prematurely similar to that of commercial practices (mature). Total monomeric anthocyanin, ascorbic acid (AA), total phenolics, and free radical scavenging ability were measured. Spring Satin tree ripe had the greatest anthocyanin content (301.71... Read More →
KC

Kate Coupland

Oceanography, 10:45AM-12:00PM
What's controlling pH in the Damariscotta River? | | As climate change continues to alter marine ecosystems through temperature and salinity changes, acidification, and sea level rise, understanding how the estuaries and aquaculture may respond to these changes is critical to sustainable management. The Damariscotta River is the highest producer of oysters annually in Maine. Understanding this system is paramount to expand aquaculture throughout the state to meet the needs of a growing population and support coastal communities. We are developing a coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model of the Damariscotta River that will focus on understanding why the Damariscotta River is such a productive oyster aquaculture area. The model will incorporate parameters such as temperature and salinity, nutrient sources, fresh water flow, primary productivity rates, chlorophyll a standing stock, uptake rates by oysters, proportion of food coming from detritus vs phytoplankton, benthic pelagic coupling and remineralization rates, bottom type, and bathymetry. Several questions of interest to be answered with the model include: What is the carrying capacity of the Damariscotta River for oysters? How does the composition of detritus in the river impact oyster growth rates, and what are the possibly implications due to shift in detritus composition? Increased temperature will likely increase oyster growth rates, will the oyster food supply increase proportionately? Will shelf intrusion of acidic water be of concern for the growing areas in the upper portions of the river? Will decreased pH due to increased freshwater runoff have an impact on growth rates? | | Faculty Mentor: Damian... Read More →
avatar for Caroline Curtis

Caroline Curtis

Biology, Neuroscience Minor, 10:45AM-12:00PM
mTERT as a Novel and Unique Marker for Adult Neural Stem Cells Neurodegeneration and brain injuries are incurable problems that stem from the death of neurons, without replacement. One potential avenue of treatment could be stimulation of adult neural stem cells (ANSCs), but at present these cells are difficult to study due to non-specific markers. Our research is focused on investigating mouse telomerase reverse transcriptase (mTERT) as a novel and unique marker for ANSCs... Read More →
SD

Samantha Davis

Wildlife Ecology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Seasonal survival and harvest rates of ruffed grouse in central Maine, USA | | Individual survival is a fundamental component of population dynamics, and knowledge of factors that influence survival is important for understanding fluctuations that occur within populations. Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is considered generally abundant in Maine, but along their southern range margin and in parts of New England their populations have experienced long-term declines. Our objectives for this study were to estimate rates of survival and harvest of radio-marked ruffed grouse in central Maine and evaluate sources of temporal (annual, monthly, seasonal, and weekly), spatial, and individual (age, sex, and body condition) variation on survival. We estimated a cumulative harvest rate of 0.134... Read More →
AE

Amber Elwell

Food Science and Human Nutrition, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Consumer Acceptability of Cold Hardy Plums | | Did you know that the State of Maine’s population increases by over 30 million people during the tourist season? This influx of people provides an increase in revenue through all areas of the economy during summer months, which can be beneficial to agriculture and local Maine farmers. Currently, apple orchards are popular in Maine, however there is potential to grow cold hardy plums that survive in... Read More →
AG

Andrew Galimberti

Entomology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Mineral Oil as a Tool in Integrated Pest Management of Potato | | Mineral oil is an organic petroleum-based pesticide which has a variety of uses in pest management. It has been used as an insecticide in several crops, primarily against small, soft-bodied insects. It is also... Read More →
AG

Amanda Gavin

Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Linking climate variability to population wide increases of dissolved organic carbon in acid-sensitive high elevation lakes | | Porous cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) based aerogels are capable of absorbing and storing a significant amount of liquid inside the 3D structure. As the porosity of the CNF aerogels goes higher, the amount of liquid absorption increases linearly. One of the biggest problems of 3D CNF aerogels with high porosity is that the structure breaks down very rapidly in aqueous environments. Here we describe a method to overcome this deficiency by adding methacrylate functionalized carboxymethyl cellulose (MetCMC) into the CNF system followed by crosslinking between the methacrylate groups of MetCMC. The resultant polymer composite matrix successfully maintains a robust 3D structure without collapsing when rewetted and stored in aqueous environments. When rewetted CNF-MetCMC composite is freeze dried it maintains its size and shape whereas air drying causes shrinkage of the volume. Air dried CNF-MetCMC swells and increases in volume to some extent when rewetted. A greater mass fraction of CNF in the whole composition stabilizes the air dried structure against swelling in an aqueous environment. Cross-linking between methacrylate groups enhances the dry and wet modulus of CNF-MetCMC aerogels | | Faculty Mentor: Sarah... Read More →
AG

Andrew Goode

Oceanography, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Implications of expanding thermal habitat to settlement-based forecasts of American lobster landings | | The American lobster, Homarus americanus, fishery is the most valuable single-species fishery in the USA and Canada, and more than 90% of the USA share comes from the Gulf of Maine (GoM). New recruits to the fishery comprise approximately 85% of annual landings, and therefore landings are a reasonable indicator of the productivity of the fishery. The American Lobster Settlement Index (ALSI) was established in 1989 to record the interannual variability and overall trends in year class strength at the time larvae settle to the seabed, some 6-9 years before they enter the fishery. Widespread recent downturns in GoM settlement densities, as measured at shallow water monitoring sites, have raised concerns over future declines in landings. However, it is possible that the ALSI alone may underestimate year class strength if the area of suitable nursery habitat has expanded in a warming climate. Previous studies indicate lobster larvae prefer to settle where temperatures exceed... Read More →
SH

Savannah Haines

Forestry, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Fungi and tree response: Determining how the fungal pathogen, Caliciopsis pinea is altering eastern white pine compartmentalization. | | Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) is historically, ecologically, and economically significant in both Maine and New Hampshire. Not only used commercially, for building and shipping products, white pine also plays a larger role as a valued habitat and food source for many wildlife species. Recently, reports of damage are being associated with the native fungal pathogen, Caliciopsis pinea. This pathogen has been rarely researched so little information is available. Knowing more about this pathogen and about the... Read More →
MN

Mohammed Nayeem Ibnul

Chemistry, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Fabrication of Thermoelectric Film of Bismuth Telluride Nanocomposites for High Efficiency Thermoelectric Generators | | Fabrication of Thermoelectric Film of Bismuth Telluride Nanocomposites for High Efficiency Thermoelectric Generators | | Mohammed Nayeem Ibnul | Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (LASST) | University of Maine | | Abstract | Thermoelectric devices have attracted much interest for converting waste heat from engines into useful electricity. This particular technology is crucial for... Read More →
JI

Jonas Insinga

Entomology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Insects as potential vectors of Dickeya dianthicola in Maine potato agrosystems | | Maine makes on average $300 million annually from its potato. A new bacterial pathogen, Dickeya dianthicola, has been introduced to the state and has spread to neighboring states through trade in seed potatoes. A virulent causal agent of blackleg and aerial stem rot, contaminated soil and water are two avenues of spread for this bacterium in fields. However, there is also some evidence suggesting a coevolutionary relationship between pectolytic erwiniae bacteria and certain insects. There is thus a need to evaluate the potential for insect pests to serve as vectors of D. dianthicola. Focusing on the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decimlineata) and the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), we are conducting three different experiments: olfactometery involving the fermentative Dickeya-metabolite 2,3-butanediol, direct plant-to-plant transmission mediated by the previously mentioned insect species, and a field test to determine if implementation of different targeted pest management methods can influence D. dianthicola transmission rates. The determination of the viability of this route of Dickeya dispersal is of value by providing a potential target for efforts to reduce the transmission of a damaging agricultural disease currently impacting one of... Read More →
BK

Bouhee Kang

Food Science, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Recovery of functional proteins from invasive green crabs (Carcinus maenas) by isoelectric solubilization/precipitation | | Growing populations of invasive green crabs (Carcinus maenas) have negatively affected marine habitat, molluscan aquaculture, and commercially important fisheries in North America. The primary objective of this study is to create value added products from green crabs, which have no commercial value, focusing on protein ingredients for human foods. Homogenized green crab was solubilized at pH 2 (PP2) and pH 10 (PP10) for 30 min, and the supernatant pH was readjusted to 5.5 after centrifugation. The samples were centrifuged again to precipitate and isolate proteins which were then freeze-dried. Then, proximate composition and molecular weight (MW) distribution of samples were investigated. As a result of ISP processing, protein and lipid contents were increased, and mineral contents were lowered. PP2 samples contained larger MW proteins as compared to PP10. To determine the potential use of the protein isolate powders as functional food additives, their solubility, gelation, and emulsifying properties were evaluated. At pH 7 and pH 8, solubility of PP10 was significantly higher, 13% and 41%, compared to solubility of PP2, 3% and 6%, respectively. For gel formation, PP2 required a lower concentration (12%) than PP10 (21%). Emulsifying activity of PP10 (1480 m2/g) was improved significantly compared to PP2 (858 m2/g). These results indicate that the functional properties of the green crab protein isolates depend on pH during the solubilization stage and on MW distribution. | | Faculty Mentor: Denise Skonbergk Angela... Read More →
AL

Amy Lamore

Molecular and Cellular Biology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Comparison of Clearing Methods to Visualize Diabetic Neuropathy in BTBR Ob/Ob Mice | | Clearing methods are used to render a tissue completely transparent by removing the light scattering lipids. Many of these methods have been optimized for mouse brains, the fattiest organ i... Read More →
TL

Trevor Lessard

Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Understanding Ecosystem Changes in the Falkland Islands Across Time | | The Falkland Islands are a biodiversity hot spot with endemic species of plants and animals, and a unique assemblage of seabirds and marine mammals that are threatened by land use practices and climate change. To understand how the abundances of marine fauna on the Falkland Islands compare to past abundances, we use sediment records to understand how the landscape and relative abundance of marine fauna populations breeding in the Falkland Islands changed over thousands of years. We specifically use bioelemental analysis of seventeen metals which are known to biologically accumulate in the tissue of top predators, and are deposited on their breeding grounds. | | Using two sediment cores collected at Surf Bay and Kidney Island, we determined changes in organic matter in the records over the past 13,000 years using a method called loss on ignition. A total of 1,009 peat samples (Surf Bay, n=477 samples; Kidney Island, n=532 samples) were baked at... Read More →
JM

Joelle Manglinckx

Wildlife Ecology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Reproductive status affects summertime resource selection and survival of ruffed grouse in Maine, USA. | | Theory suggests that animals should select resources based on perceived fitness benefits. Because life-history traits differentially contribute to fitness and are constrained by reproductive costs, they require different resources; therefore, resource selection is a life-stage-specific process. To understand the relationship between life-stage-specific resource selection and the cost of brood-rearing to ruffed grouse, we investigated multi-level resource selection and its effects on summer survival of 50 individual non-reproductive and brood-rearing ruffed grouse in Maine, USA. At the landscape-level, non-reproductive ruffed grouse selected areas with greater stem densities... Read More →
DN

Dhriti Nayyar

Food Science, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Effects of blanching and freezing on antioxidant capacity of dulse (Palmaria palamata), gracilaria (Gracilaria tikvahiae), sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) and winged kelp (Alaria esculenta) | | A lot of attention has been given to analyzing antioxidants present in sea vegetables, focusing on dried products. Sea vegetable producers are now marketing minimally processed sea vegetable products including fresh and frozen salads... Read More →
MP

Margaret Pickoff

Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Improving Green Manure Intercropping in Small Grains: An Evaluation of Alternative Termination Techniques | | The practice of intercropping small grains with leguminous green manures (GMs) can provide an affordable, on-farm source of nitrogen (N) for subsequent grain crops wh... Read More →
RR

Rebecca Rivernider

Zoology, Animal Science minor, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Timothy grass, a pollen forage for Bumble bees | | Bumble bees in Maine, USA were surveyed during the spring, summer, and fall of 2016 in the major geographic regions in the state to assess bumble bee health, diversity, and the flora that they visit to acquire food. During the survey we observed bumble bee workers visiting the introduced livestock forage grass, Timothy grass, Phleum pratense L. A review of the literature suggests that this plant species has rarely been observed as bumble bee forage. Photography was used to document this new forage plant association. Analysis of pollen extracted from foraging bumble bees suggests that the plant is significantly utilized with almost three-times as much timothy grass pollen as other pollen species being represented in the pollen collection (P = 0.002). Since Timothy grass is commonly found in commercial pasture seed mixes , grass pastures in North America may provide important pollen for bumble bee communities. | | Faculty Mentor: Eric... Read More →
KT

Kisei Tanaka

Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Mesoscale climatic impacts on distribution of Homarus americanus in the US inshore Gulf of Maine. The American lobster (Homarus americanus) supports commercially valuable fisheries throughout the northeastern USA and the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Climate change is speculated to exert a dominant control over the... Read More →
JW

Jonathan Watson

Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Dam Removal and Fish Passage Improvement Influence Fish Assemblages in the Penobscot River, Maine | | Dams and their impoundments disrupt river habitat connectivity to the detriment of diadromous fishes. Removal of dams is assumed to improve riverine connectivity and lotic habitat for the benefit of anadromous fishes and fluvial specialists, but this is infrequently tested. Restoration efforts on the Penobscot River (Maine, USA) are among the largest recently completed in the United States, and include the removal of the two lower-most dams and improvements to fish passage at remaining barriers. We assessed fish assemblages in the mainstem river and several major tributaries before (2010-2012) and after dam removal (2014-2015) using boat electrofishing surveys and a stratified-random sampling design. Similarity indices suggest that the most pronounced changes in fish assemblage composition occurred in strata that underwent both habitat and connectivity changes (i.e. directly above removed dams). We found all anadromous species in greatest abundance below lower-most dam during each respective sampling period. River herrings Alosa spp. passed through the new fish elevator at the new lower-most dam and spawned in newly available habitat upstream. We also observed a marked reduction in lacustrine species in former impoundments (e.g. Pumpkinseed Sunfish Lepomis gibbosus and Golden Shiner Notemigonus crysoleucas) and a reduction in the relative abundance of Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu, an invasive habitat generalist that typically dominates the assemblage in most reaches. Our results demonstrate the potential for large dam removal projects to restore both fluvial and anadromous fish assemblages. | | Faculty Mentor: Stephen... Read More →

Session Chair
SD

Samantha Davis

Wildlife Ecology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Seasonal survival and harvest rates of ruffed grouse in central Maine, USA | | Individual survival is a fundamental component of population dynamics, and knowledge of factors that influence survival is important for understanding fluctuations that occur within populations. Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is considered generally abundant in Maine, but along their southern range margin and in parts of New England their populations have experienced long-term declines. Our objectives for this study were to estimate rates of survival and harvest of radio-marked ruffed grouse in central Maine and evaluate sources of temporal (annual, monthly, seasonal, and weekly), spatial, and individual (age, sex, and body condition) variation on survival. We estimated a cumulative harvest rate of 0.134... Read More →
JI

Jonas Insinga

Entomology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Insects as potential vectors of Dickeya dianthicola in Maine potato agrosystems | | Maine makes on average $300 million annually from its potato. A new bacterial pathogen, Dickeya dianthicola, has been introduced to the state and has spread to neighboring states through trade in seed potatoes. A virulent causal agent of blackleg and aerial stem rot, contaminated soil and water are two avenues of spread for this bacterium in fields. However, there is also some evidence suggesting a coevolutionary relationship between pectolytic erwiniae bacteria and certain insects. There is thus a need to evaluate the potential for insect pests to serve as vectors of D. dianthicola. Focusing on the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decimlineata) and the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), we are conducting three different experiments: olfactometery involving the fermentative Dickeya-metabolite 2,3-butanediol, direct plant-to-plant transmission mediated by the previously mentioned insect species, and a field test to determine if implementation of different targeted pest management methods can influence D. dianthicola transmission rates. The determination of the viability of this route of Dickeya dispersal is of value by providing a potential target for efforts to reduce the transmission of a damaging agricultural disease currently impacting one of... Read More →
AL

Amy Lamore

Molecular and Cellular Biology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Comparison of Clearing Methods to Visualize Diabetic Neuropathy in BTBR Ob/Ob Mice | | Clearing methods are used to render a tissue completely transparent by removing the light scattering lipids. Many of these methods have been optimized for mouse brains, the fattiest organ i... Read More →
JM

Joelle Manglinckx

Wildlife Ecology, 10:45AM-12:00PM
Reproductive status affects summertime resource selection and survival of ruffed grouse in Maine, USA. | | Theory suggests that animals should select resources based on perceived fitness benefits. Because life-history traits differentially contribute to fitness and are constrained by reproductive costs, they require different resources; therefore, resource selection is a life-stage-specific process. To understand the relationship between life-stage-specific resource selection and the cost of brood-rearing to ruffed grouse, we investigated multi-level resource selection and its effects on summer survival of 50 individual non-reproductive and brood-rearing ruffed grouse in Maine, USA. At the landscape-level, non-reproductive ruffed grouse selected areas with greater stem densities... Read More →

Judges

Monday April 24, 2017 10:45am - 12:00pm
Rooms 2-6

Attendees (1)